Nasal Congestion In Children - Everything You Need To Know

Nasal Congestion In Children

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Seasonal flu may not seem like a really dangerous health concern, but the symptoms it brings along can be quite a task to deal with. Nasal congestion or stuffy nose is probably the most irritating symptom of cold and flu.

Let’s take a close look at some simple ways to deal with nasal congestion and stuffy nose in your child.

What Happens During Nasal Congestion?

Nasal congestion usually occurs when the nasal tissues and its adjacent tissues, along with the blood vessels surrounding the region become swollen with excess fluid, leading to the ‘stuffy’ feeling. In many cases, nasal congestion may also be accompanied with runny nose or nasal discharge.

This condition can be quite an annoyance for children as well as adults, and in some cases it could also prove to be serious in children, as they may have a hard time nursing and breathing. (1)

Common Causes of Nasal Congestion in Children:

A kids stuffy nose is usually caused due to a bacterial or viral infection such as flu

, common cold or sinus infection. In most cases, congestion goes away by itself in a week or so.

In some cases, nasal congestion in kids may also occur due to other conditions such as:

  • Nasal polyps
  • Vasomotor rhinitis
  • Use of nasal sprays and drops
  • Hay fever
  • Allergies (2)

[ Read: Bacterial Infections In Kids ]

Tips To Deal With Nasal Congestion In Children:

Following a few simple steps on how to help a child with a stuffy nose.

1. Clean out the mucus: After your doctor’s approval, make use of a nasal bulb or an aspirator to suck the mucus out of your baby’s nose. If your child is old enough, you could also get him to blow his nose regularly and release the mucus. Also make sure you never ever use cold medicine for your child, especially if he’s under 6 years of age, unless a pediatrician prescribes it.

2. Keep up the fluid intake: For children over 3 months of age, you may want to offer Pedialyte to keep the liquid intake up. Apple juice or water can also be good home based alternatives. Older children can have warm soups and other drinks.

3. Add some moisture: If the air is dry, you can use a cool-mist humidifier installed in your home. Saline nasal drops can also be used to moisten nasal passages and stimulate the expulsion of mucus. Having your child breathe in some light steam, such as that formed in a bathroom with a hot shower running can also help stimulate release of mucus.

4. Deal with other symptoms: You can have your child take a teaspoon of honey for cough that comes along with nasal congestion, only if your child is older than 12 months of age. Another effective trick is to rub petroleum jelly under his nose to prevent chapping and irritation. Make sure you keep him away from potential irritants such as cigarette smoke. If your child is affected by allergies, you can talk to a pediatrician about possible treatment options. (3)

[ Read: Strep Throat In Children ]

You may also come across some nasal strips available at most pharmacy stores, that work by widening the nasal passages and make breathing easier. Talk to your doctor about using them for your child. Another simple trick to try and relieve congestion is to keep the head elevated using cushions and pillows while lying down, since the stuffiness tends to worsen while lying down. (4)

If stuffiness and other symptoms persist, you could have your child examined by a physician.

We hope this article helped you discover some simple and effective tips to deal with your child stuffy nose. Have your own tips to share? Let us know in the comments box below.

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